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on January 31, 2010
I purchased this book for a college class and was impressed by its readability (my buying it for a college class is also why it only received 4 stars instead of 5). Zak believes that it is better to learn by doing, so each chapter is set up in the following manner: Section A is typically just reading so as to first acquire an understanding of the practicality of what will be taught and overview the upcoming materials. Section B and C are a combination of tutorial and instruction. At the end of each section, there are key terms, review questions, and exercises to complete.

I like the learn-by-doing aspect of this book since it allowed me to become accustomed to using Visual Studio and Visual Basic before receiving homework assignments. One drawback of the book might be that it is not specifically set up for studying. Because the sections are so full of tutorial, it might be hard to use for a quick reference. However, each concept does have its own "header" and the key terms are in bold: a lot of material is in this book, though, not just terms. But, if you take notes while you are working through the tutorials, you should be fine. This book could also be used as an instructional method outside of the class room, so if you are looking to buy a book for your own reference/learning, this would be a great one for that!
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on September 1, 2010
You have no instructor.
You have never seen a computer before.
If either of these are true, you are going to enjoy this format (for the first time only)

Everyone else (everyone that has a use for programming any language) will find that the entire book is needlessly bloated and that the painstakingly boring tutorial method is a chore. Concepts and information that do not take more than 5 minutes to implement will be covered over 30+ pages. The totalitarian instructions leave you waiting awhile for the next concept to be taught, so you will be skimming...a lot. To the credit of course technology, they format these books (I have two of them) so that you can skim to the bold instructions without reading every single mind numbing paragraph. Unfortunately, some topics are important enough to read, but like the boy that cried wolf, you'll be apathetic towards the book's attempt at warning you. There are so many screenshots of what is going on, you could go through this book without ever sitting in front of a computer with Visual Studio. The whole thing is better suited as a video or power point tutorial, so that means you'll be rubbernecking between each step for hours.
Yes, hours.
If you do read everything, you will spend hours creating a program that adds two numbers. This example takes minutes to create, and minutes to learn with text books in different formats.

If this method were effective at teaching the programing of Visual Basic, I would praise the level of detail. But it does not teach you programming at all. It teaches you how to use a Microsoft program, much the same way as a tutorial book on Word. It is an instruction manual, not a textbook. You will not retain knowledge of programing VB. You put no stake into the learning process, your hand is held and you are spoon fed a load of needless crap mixed in with a few important details. Also, the text will serve as a god awful reference because of the format. God help anyone that must suffer this book for a class. If your professor requires you to do the tutorial projects, you are going to hate your class, I guarantee that.

Stay away from this book if you have even a very minimal understanding of programing languages or have a minimal level of comfort using Microsoft applications. If you know nothing, this book will not change that too much either.

Lose! Lose!
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on February 6, 2010
I'm using this textbook for an online course I'm taking at a local community college. This is excellent for beginners either as a textbook or for someone trying to self teach the language. I am very impressed with the format, layout, intellectual level and accuracy of the lessons.

This textbook seems perfectly designed for someone with a solid understanding of high school / community college level math logic and a working knowledge of typical Microsoft Office products such as Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.

This is not a higher / highest level textbook for learning or referencing a comprehensive knowledge of the language.

To even partially benefit from the book you will need Microsoft Visual Basic available and running on a computer 75% of the time you are studying.
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on October 9, 2011
I purchased this book for my junior-level programming class. My lower level/earlier programming classes were disastrous and I don't know if I can attribute my success in the VB class to the book or not, but I do. I've found this book to be very simple to use and helpful in teaching VB concepts.
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on October 2, 2013
Good book, very helpful!
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on December 3, 2014
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on June 14, 2014
I got this book many years ago and it never ever occurred to me that I would ever have to rate it. I am just rating it because I have nothing better to do and I had a bunch of other Amazon items that I needed to rate. There has been three newer versions of Microsoft Visual Studio since this book came out, so I don't even know why I am bothering to rate it now.
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on October 19, 2009
Ordered book for class, professor told us book should come with CD? Bought this book brand new. No CD inside. How you supposed to take a class with no software? Very dissatified!!! :( Book doesn't say it comes with a CD or not? Posting should of had more information and if it was new should come with the CD.

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on September 20, 2010
College is expensive. It is nice to know there is another option. Spent 25 dollars less than what I would at the bookstore. The book was brand new and arrived with in a week -- Just in time for class. Good seller
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